TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology sophomore Craig McGee hit a running layup with 2.3 seconds remaining to break a 65-65 tie and lead the Fightin' Engineers to a 67-65 men's basketball victory over Franklin College on Wednesday night at Hulbert Arena.
McGee drove the right of the lane and scored on a runner just outside the lane to give Rose-Hulman a two-point lead. Franklin's Kale Morris missed a well defended 25-foot three-pointer on the right wing at the buzzer as Rose-Hulman improved to 11-4 in conference play.
McGee led all scorers with a season-high 21 points, along with five assists and five rebounds. John Czarnecki added his fourth career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Charlie Aimone also reached double figures with 15 points for the Engineers.
Eli Combs, competing against his brother Isaac from Franklin, came off the bench with eight points in 14 minutes of action for Rose-Hulman.
Franklin shot 62% from the field in the second half to rally from an 18-point halftime deficit to tie the score in the final seconds. Borden Kennedy led the Grizzlies with 13 points, Morris added 12 and Matt Krause scored 11 points.
Rose-Hulman relied on 46% shooting and a solid defense that held Franklin to 1-9 from three-point range in the opening 20 minutes to build a 39-21 halftime advantage.
In the second half, Rose-Hulman held a 53-40 lead with 11:08 left before Franklin scored 10 straight points to move within 53-50 at the 8:34 mark.
Franklin never led but was able to tie the score at 59-59 then again at 65-65 to set the stage for the game winning basket. McGee made the final two field goals for Rose-Hulman, after Czarnecki scored in the lane on a pass from Aimone to make the score 63-59 at the 2:30 mark.
Rose-Hulman remains one game behind Hanover in the HCAC standings at 11-4 and improved to 15-7 overall. Franklin remains tied for sixth in the league at 6-9 in conference play. Rose-Hulman travels to Earlham for the annual John Mutchner Cup Game on Saturday at 4 p.m.